Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji)

Tripoto
3rd Oct 2015
Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) 1/10 by Mayank Pathak
Hardened flour for Bird-feeding.
Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) 2/10 by Mayank Pathak
Thanka Painting : 1
Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) 3/10 by Mayank Pathak
Thanka Painting : 2
Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) 4/10 by Mayank Pathak
The main complex.
Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) 5/10 by Mayank Pathak
Monastery
Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) 6/10 by Mayank Pathak
Free and wild.
Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) 7/10 by Mayank Pathak
Thanka Art
Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) 8/10 by Mayank Pathak
Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) 9/10 by Mayank Pathak
Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) 10/10 by Mayank Pathak

"Let go of your desires, and there shall be no suffering."

When the founder of Bon, Tonpa Shenrab (Ston-pa gShen-rab), traveled to Kongpo (Kong-po), he stopped at Tobgyel. With his miraculous powers, he left his footprint in a rock, saying, "Little boy, in the future your monastery will be here."

Photo of Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India by Mayank Pathak

So here we are,

Menri (Medicine Mountain) Monastery, Dolanji, India.

Set in the secluded arms of nature, lies the much less known Dolanji Monastery in Solan. Home to the Bon religion, which is much older than Buddhism. The drive from Solan is about 40 minutes, to reach one has to take a minor diversion (Narag - Sarahan road) from Oachghat (on Solan - Rajgarh road). The road towards is dotted with lush greenery and overlooking pines amidst the mighty Shivalks.

Photo of Dolanji, Ganyar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Mayank Pathak

The monastery holds the title for being the second oldest monastery for the Bon religion. It also has a school and a big library where students study the Bon religion. A new Bon nunnery is being completed in a pristine setting across the river from, and in view of, Menri Monastery. Called Redna Menling or "Land of Precious Medicine," it is the only Bon nunnery in India and only one of a handful in the world. The playing ground is quite spacious and has a captivating view.

Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) by Mayank Pathak

There is no place to stay for the night so one has to make do or go back to Solan for possible options. However, there is one basic eatery shop just inside the entrance if one wishes for some food/drink etc. The complex is quite clean and residential areas properly maintained.

Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) by Mayank Pathak

The art is tremendously detailed and has remarkable craftsmanship. Eyecatching visuals dot the entire architecture of the place which gives it a very ancient feel. The chief lama of Menri Monastery is Menri Trizin, who is also the titular head of all the Bonpo.

Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) by Mayank Pathak

The monastery also has many sections dedicated to the vivid cultural and religional practices of the Bon religion such as the 'Thanka' painting along with various other handicrafts.

Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) by Mayank Pathak

All said, the destination is a peaceful one and one must visit if around Solan. The positive vibes you get here are something that will linger with you for days to come.

Photo of Visit the only Bon Monastery in India at Solan! (The Menri Monastery, Dolanji) by Mayank Pathak

Om Mani Padme Hum.

Small living area enroute Solan-Rajgarh road.

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